James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Flyers PA asks fans to ‘have some class’ after littering ice with wristbands


Falling behind 3-0 in their series against the Washington Capitals after an embarrassing Game 3 defeat was bad enough for the Philadelphia Flyers.

It might have been an even uglier night for certain members of the Flyers’ fan base.

Following a questionable hit that inspired game misconduct penalties and a significant power play advantage for the already-well-ahead Capitals, Flyers fans were quite upset. They showed the displeasure by throwing white wristbands to the ice (wristbands that were used in part to celebrate Ed Snider’s legacy earlier that night).

Watch the hit that served as the catalyst for that nastiness in the video above this post.

That scene served as a huge drop-off from the beginning:

… To the Flyers’ PA guy Lou Nolan pleading with fans to stop throwing wristbands onto the ice (while the Flyers received penalties for that behavior).

Let’s just say that it was a bad look for Flyers fans:

Oof, rough night.


Capitals make some history in putting Philly on the brink

How Capitals, Flyers and fans felt about that scene

Getting physical: Orpik, Gostisbehere shaken up by hits


The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals may have each lost a defenseman during Game 3.

At minimum, they face situations to watch after hits hurt Shayne Gostisbehere and Brooks Orpik respectively.

In the case of “Ghost,” he was shaken up by a check that drew an interference penalty on Daniel Winnik.


Check it out in GIF form:

The good news for the Flyers is that Gostisbehere returned to action during that same second period.

That said, we’ve seen plenty of instances in which a player returned quickly after a possible injury … only to miss time after the adrenaline wears off or something gets aggravated.


A hard (if maybe routine?) check by Ryan White left Orpik in a pretty bad way, with the Capitals announcing that the rugged defenseman is questionable to return.


Again, watch it via GIF:

At this very moment, it seems like Gostisbehere may have dodged a bullet while Orpik might not be so lucky. We’ll get a better idea later on.

Video: Philadelphia Flyers pay heartfelt tribute to Ed Snider


News surfaced that Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider passed away at age 83 on April 11, and the tributes started pouring in.

As great as some of those memories were, it felt even more fitting to say goodbye during the thing he predicted: a 2016 playoff game in Philadelphia.

Fans, members of the organization and just about everyone in between paid tribute to Snider on Monday as the Flyers hosted the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

You can watch that touching tribute in video form above this post’s headline. There’s also this version if you prefer it that way:

Is it a mere coincidence that the Flyers scored about a minute into the game?

(It is currently 1-1 in the second period.)

WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action


We’re now at that point where scenes are shifting with lower seeds hosting their first home contests of the playoffs, all Game 3 matches.

Here’s how to follow tonight’s trio of games:

Washington at Philadelphia (7:00 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Dallas at Minnesota (8:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on CNBC. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Los Angeles at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET)

The TV broadcast of Game 3 will be on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here.

Need to catch up? No sweat:

The Sharks aren’t worried about their regular season struggles at home

Antoine Roussel scored the weirdest goal you’ll ever see

Devan Dubnyk wasn’t happy with the officials after Game 2

–‘It’s a crappy feeling’: Mason owns up to allowing ‘bad goal’ in Game 2

Blues convert on calls they did get, take 2-1 series lead vs. Blackhawks


Penalties (and officiating in general) were a huge point of emphasis after Game 2 and early in Game 3, so it’s strangely fitting that the St. Louis Blues took the contest after converting on a huge special teams opportunity.

Patrick Kane‘s high-stick left Alex Pietrangelo bleeding, so the Blues received a four-minute power play in the third period. Jaden Schwartz converted on a pretty passing play to make it 3-2, which stood as the final score as the Blues built a 2-1 series lead.

Boiling it down to that sequence doesn’t really do justice to a Game 3 that had more twists than a M. Night Shyamalan movie.

The first period could have been disastrous for the Blues after an opening sequence that included an iffy penalty that opened the door for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead and multiple infractions right out of the gate. Instead, the Blues fought through it and nailed their first man-advantage chance when Colton Parayko boomed home a shot to make it 1-1.

The middle frame could have been disastrous as well; the Blackhawks managed a ridiculous 24 shots on goal during a second period that was brimming with end-to-end action.

Both goalies were fantastic, however, and Chicago only entered the third period with a 2-1 lead.

St. Louis kept applying pressure until Patrik Berglund‘s shot took a funky bounce and beat Corey Crawford, setting the stage for Schwartz’s go-ahead goal.

Overall, the two teams combined for a dizzying 82 shots on goal (46 for Chicago, 36 for St. Louis). It felt that way, too, as it was arguably a classic game between a pair of bitter rivals.

The Blues showed remarkable resiliency to win, beating the Blackhawks in a way they haven’t lost very often:

These two teams keep trading big blows as if this was a prize fight. We’ll get to see how Chicago rolls with this latest punch when the series resumes with Game 4 on Tuesday.

And now, your “Moment of Zen.”